It is probably not a good bet to place your money on gambling ads.
This is after stringent rules have been placed on gambling advertisements by the Betting Control and Licensing Board. The regulations all but do away with gambling ads.
Among the new policies, to be effected by May 30, include the banning of
- outdoor advertising of gambling
- gambling ads on social media
- gambling ads between 6am and 10pm
- celebrity endorsement of gambling operations
A letter from the Betting Control and Licensing Board dated April 30 reveals that the limitations on the advertising of gambling are based on the fact that gambling is a ‘demerit good’ which is potentially dangerous to society.
“… all demerit goods have the potential to harm the consumer with a possibility of leading to addiction as well as some disorder,” Acting Director Liti Wambua said.
Wambua added that the Board, as a regulator, had a duty to protect its consumers, members of the public, the young and the vulnerable.
The Betting Control and Licensing Board also added that it must approve any advert of gambling, and that gambling ads must be accompanied by a warning message about the consequences of gambling.
“.. the warning message must constitute a third of the actual advertisement and must be of the same font,” Wambua said.
Gambling has become very popular in Kenya, with a survey in February last year revealing that gambling sites and pornographic content make up seven of the top ten most visited websites in the country.
Gambling ads have also served as sources of revenue for print newspapers and TV media, as well as potential income generators for celebrities.
It remains to be seen how this will impact seeing as gambling ads will only be allowed outside the watershed period of between 6am and 10pm. Subsequently, a ban being placed on outdoor advertisement as well as on celebrity endorsement carries with it consequences.